Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (199)

Sean Fleming

Question:

202 Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Defence if the Border duty allowance is still in existence; the number of persons currently in receipt of this; the rate of the allowance; the estimated cost for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34227/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

Border Duty Allowance was introduced in January 1972 and is still in existence. It is payable at the rate of €96.23 per week to Enlisted Personnel and €111.97 per week to Officers. The Department sought to cease payment of this allowance under the modernisation agenda contained in the "Towards 2016" Defence Sector Action Plan. Following disagreement between the Department and the Representative Associations this issue went to third party Adjudication. The Adjudicator found in favour of the Association and ruled that the allowance should be retained on a personal to holder basis for those who were in receipt of it on the 3rd February 2009. There have been no new recipients since this date and the allowance is being phased out as current holders retire or leave the Defence Forces. There are currently 796 personnel in receipt of Border Duty Allowance (763 Enlisted Personnel and 33 Officers). Based on current recipients the cost of Border Duty Allowance for 2012 is estimated at €4 million. As the Deputy is aware the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is undertaking a review of allowances and premium payments across the public sector. I understand that Minister Howlin will bring proposals to Government shortly on this issue.